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Old 01-03-2015, 09:51 PM   #15
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No doubt it works well for some, I rely on our basic factory solar often and I don't think there's enough to add the fridge compressor to it. Adding another battery might be enough if the sunlight was reliable, which varies in different parts of the country.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
I have traveled when it has been VERY HOT, the refrigerator and freezer stay very cold.

The truck alternator EASILY keeps the fridge running, and easily recharges the battery at the same time. (June and July in the desert)

I write this out of experience, not projection or assumption.


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But not all rigs will do it. Age, undersized wiring, the list goes on. To plan accordingly is to come to your experience as it is not a given.

In plenty of cases the alternator will not put a full charge on the house batteries.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:03 PM   #17
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That may well be, I am drawing on my own experience here, but with my stock 08 Chevy, the fridge will run endlessly if the trailer is towed every couple days or so.

My furnace fan uses MUCH more electricity than my refrigerator.

On a cold night, the furnace will kill the batteries in 8 or 10 hours, the refrigerator takes at least a couple days.


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Old 01-03-2015, 10:07 PM   #18
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David, go for it.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:00 AM   #19
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I put a small residential fridge in my Bambi II because it was under $200 (versus $800+ for LP). It was better insulated than the RV version and had a nice large separate freezer. Towing all day in the Texas heat with NO POWER, it kept meat frozen and milk cold as long as it was kept closed. We do not really boondock and if we did, would need a generator to run A/C in the summer anyway. YMMV.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:45 AM   #20
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Many new, larger trailers, 5th wheels and motor homes are using residential refrigerators. They are also powered by sine wave inverters and 600-800 amp/ hour battery banks.

In an Airstream with it's limited storage space, this is not really practical. What DOES work well is the AC/DC marine fridges with the Danfoss compressor.

These are especially well suited for DC-direct use and draw as low as 2.5 amps. They also work especially well with a solar charging system.

I have many in use and the owners could not be happier with their choices. LP ammonia-absorption technology dates to the mid 19th century and having been peripherally involved in several fridge-caused fires, they DO ignite under certain situations. NOT my idea of a quality product!!!!!!


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Old 02-11-2015, 10:57 AM   #21
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I keep hearing about resale value being an issue but I don't buy that. You cant loose what you haven't paid for to begin with. Assuming two trailers are equal in every way except one has a 400 home fridge and the other has a 1500 camper fridge, and assuming a 50% reduction in new price vs depreciated used price you are looking at 200.00 vs 750. Not a whole lot to get your undies in a bunch over and I dont think that a buyer who likes your trailer will find it objectionable to the point of not buying it as long as the price reflects the difference. Just price it so he can put in an lp model if he wants it. In the mean time you have been 1100.00 to the good and been sucking martinis and watching sun sets.

Now personally I just put a new Norcold unit in mine to replace a dorm type all electric. I couldn't be happier with the improvement in space and look and yes I did have to build a cabinet for it from scratch due to the increase in size. Well worth it to me.
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Old 02-11-2015, 12:13 PM   #22
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It is not just the price difference which changes the resale value but the fact that the majority of RV purchasers are not DYI folks, and don't know how, or are physically incapable of changing a refrigerator out.

They want to buy a usable rig which meets their needs, not one which they have to spend time or money, or find someone to do the changes like a refrigerator. Thus, two otherwise equal units have a time and hassle factor if one needs to be modified prior to use. They want to camp, not renovate, so they buy the one which works for them now, not at some future date.

Thus, if they want an RV refrigerator, and the rig they are looking at does not have one, it is a turn off to buy and modify, so they look elsewhere.

So, not only $$ difference but initial desirability which is important in "harder to sell".
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Old 02-11-2015, 12:27 PM   #23
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I keep hearing about resale value being an issue but I don't buy that. You cant loose what you haven't paid for to begin with. Assuming two trailers are equal in every way except one has a 400 home fridge and the other has a 1500 camper fridge, and assuming a 50% reduction in new price vs depreciated used price you are looking at 200.00 vs 750. Not a whole lot to get your undies in a bunch over and I dont think that a buyer who likes your trailer will find it objectionable to the point of not buying it as long as the price reflects the difference.
I would walk away from a camper with a compressor fridge in it. It doesn't meet my needs. It would also make me wonder what else was done to the camper to make it less useful.

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Just price it so he can put in an lp model if he wants it.
That sounds like a change to the resale value to me.
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Old 02-11-2015, 12:35 PM   #24
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It is not just the price difference which changes the resale value but the fact that the majority of RV purchasers are not DYI folks, and don't know how, or are physically incapable of changing a refrigerator out.

They want to buy a usable rig which meets their needs, not one which they have to spend time or money, or find someone to do the changes like a refrigerator. Thus, two otherwise equal units have a time and hassle factor if one needs to be modified prior to use. They want to camp, not renovate, so they buy the one which works for them now, not at some future date.

Thus, if they want an RV refrigerator, and the rig they are looking at does not have one, it is a turn off to buy and modify, so they look elsewhere.

So, not only $$ difference but initial desirability which is important in "harder to sell".
I have not tried to sell my 1976 31" sovereign and don't have any plans to either. But the question of replacing the "RV" type fridge with a "residential" fridge has come up many times. I have not missed my old Dometic "RV" fridge at all from the time I replaced it about 10 years ago. I don't boon dock and have never had a problem with the fridge not running while in tow. As long as it is cold when I pull out in the morning the food is still cold when I stop driving later that day and the frozen food is still frozen. The "residential" fridge keeps food colder, beer colder and my Blue Bell ice cream is frozen like it is supposed to be. It has more room than the same foot print size "RV" fridge. Besides it looks great like it belongs in the trailer. Now if you are going to put some crappy looking white 110V fridge stuck in a hole, that's not the same thing.
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:03 PM   #25
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we had a residential model in our 31 Sovereign and had no problems with it. I have an original Dometic oldie in my 66 that we use now.It works well too but takes a few hours to cool down once turned on
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:27 PM   #26
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Residential refrigerator?

I tend to look at and buy older trailers. Depreciation is nearly over, and it's a matter of condition.

A reefer from Home Depot is right up there with a window AC unit, different brand/age tires, ho-made curtains, little steel grocery store propane tanks and "updated" furnishings from Aunt Sally. Can't wait to find the floor moisture problems and interesting plumbing repairs. And the many times re drilled and re riveted sections and door hinges. It's a sign of just not caring.

A proper RV reefer unit is going to run me a lot of money. Pretty much immediately. No telling how the original enclosure has been bungled.

In looking at on line pics it's nothing but a bad sign. The asking price comes down by over $2000 the moment I see that it is missing. And I expect to find a long list of real problems. I've not ever been disappointed in this.

I'd sure put in a working RV reefer unit before selling.

And update converter to a PD with Charge Wizard. New tires (Maxxis UE168) plus fresh brake and bearing service, clean title, fresh inspection and a complete cheap WD hitch makes it a lot more attractive. LED exterior lamps. Advertise as ready to use. Hitch it up and go.
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Old 02-11-2015, 05:18 PM   #27
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Frankly I think my residential fridge looks ok, it works great, all the time, even when being towed.

Fact of the matter is, it is much more energy efficient than any propane fridge whether it is working on ac, dc, or propane.

If it matters to a person it is more enviro friendly both in energy consumption and its build.

Not everyone has to like it, but for some it is a viable alternative.


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Old 02-11-2015, 05:34 PM   #28
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I think a properly done install could be a good selling point but I've never seen one for sale!

Every time I see an ad with a obvious non-RV fridge I had to wonder, what else was done to the trailer 'on the cheap'.

If they had touted increased battery capacity, properly installed inverter, solar charging - I would be ok with that (actually it would be pretty cool!) but it's ALWAYS 'new fridge...'

I started to install one in my '63 but ran across a $150 used Dometic.

I also have had a 110v bar sized fridge fail while towing and running off an inverter. The compressor failed open, broke wire. This gives me slight pause over the durability of bouncing around a home style unit.
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